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Laura and her children travel from Buenos Aires to the village where she was
born, on a Spanish vineyard, to attend her sister's wedding, but unexpected
events lead this gathering toward a crisis that exposes the family's hidden
Roger EbertFull Review Good This is a film of towering emotion, yet rather than surging forth in cathartic outbursts, it consumes our protagonists nearly to the point of paralysis. It is superbly acted, richly provocative and never less than enthralling.
Rolling StoneFull Review Average ...ends up slowly going nowhere. Cruz and Bardem throw all their talent and charisma into the mix; they're a pleasure to watch. ...this muddled melodrama offers surprises too easy to see coming. The machinations begin to smack of desperation.
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above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
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Laura (Penelope Cruz) returns to the small Spanish village where she spent her
childhood to attend the wedding of her younger sister. Her husband Alejandro
(Ricardo Darín) has remained in Argentina to fulfill professional obligations,
but Laura isn't alone. She's traveling with her free-spirited teenage daughter,
Irene, and her young son, and she's also soon reunited with a close friend from
days gone by, Paco (Javier Bardem). Irene learns from a new friend that her
mother and Paco were once in love-but he, too, is now happily married, operating
a modest but successful vineyard with his wife, Bea (Barbara Lennie).
With Laura's large extended family gathered to celebrate the nuptials of Ana (Inma
Cuesta) and Joan (Roger Casamajor), spirts are high and a sense of frivolity
reigns. But the wedding night descends from joy to despair when Irene (Carla
Campra) suddenly goes missing from her bed. In the place of the sleeping girl
are a selection of newspaper clippings, all with stories about a local child who
was kidnapped years earlier in the town. Desperate with panic and wracked with
grief, Laura turns to Paco for support and assistance as she searches everywhere
As time passes, the situation only becomes more fraught. Suspicions mount, loved
ones begin to turn on one another, and dark secrets long hidden threaten to come
to light, revealing shocking truths.